Why diesel will continue to power farming despite the drive for zero-emissions vehicles
Apart from the weather these past months, few topics have dominated the talk at marts, or anywhere farmers meet up, as much as the future of diesel.
Pressure on diesel, because of concern to health from its NOx emissions, has been intensifying for years as governments across Europe strive to end the use of fossil-fuelled vehicles in a relatively short time.
"No new non-zero emission vehicles to be sold in Ireland post 2030" - proclaims our National Development Plan (Project Ireland 2040) .
A spokeswoman for Environment Minister Denis Naughten told us some time back the new plan represents a significant "increase in the ambition" from previous policy as it extends the 'electric-only' rule "to all new vehicles".
Taken literally that means sales of new diesel, petrol, hybrid cars, vans, SUVs, 4x4s, large commercials etc will be banned by, or before, 2030. Everything will have to be emissions-free.
How is that going to happen? What does it really mean? And what exactly will happen to diesel and petrol cars?
First off, it is an ambitious target; some call it a pipe dream.
It is reliant on so many factors, not least that sufficient volumes of electric vehicles will, before 2030, be able to cope with the personal and business transport needs of so many - especially those living and working in agriculture.